Last minute X-mas diy! (earth-friendly)

Today's post is about X-mas, diy and fun! It's also about you who live hectic lives- like most people do nowdays and you find yourselves with X-mas around the corner and not a single idea for quick and easy festive decorations. You see, anxiety hits all year long and I believe these days it should take a break! Christmas is all about fun and easy time! We should celebrate with our family and not worry over anything, but because as always it's easier said than done, I hope that my last minute diy will cheer you up and get you back on track;on that of Joyride! So, let's say that until now you didn't have the time or energy to do something festive! Plus, you are one of those fellas who can't stand those cookie-cutter decorations while you strive to be original and also keep up with the earth-friendly spirit. Look no further! Here is the simplest diy ever that will change your moods and give you the right attitude. Ok! enough talking, let us be happy alltogethernow!
You gonna need some driftwood, a crystal beads garland, a golden beads garland and a tall glass vase. Maybe the most difficult to track down is the tall vase but that's nothing fancier than a super market vase that I got with my long-dead orchid. You see, I only use leftover and what's handy around the house. The rest of the stuff, I acquired over time and all are decorations from my past. The driftwood came from a forgotten walk at the beach when it was warm and sunny! The images talk for themselves! You just rest the golden garland at the bottom of the vase add the driftwood and decorate with the crystal beads. Instant makeover, instant Christmas spirit! Enjoy!



Find & Refined { bohemian gifts }

My first round-up for gifts is dedicated to Boho chic. Bohemian lovers and admirers take a note! Those items above will make someone very happy!
1. stool / 2. set of prints / 3. wall hook / 4. sofa  / 5. pillow / 6. herb pot / 7. rug / 8. birdcage


Fog days!

Those images above depict the sights of our garden and home on a really foggy day! It was this first actual winter weekend it happened. I got up early in the day only to find out that we were under a veil of fog. When you live in a sunny climate, fog sounds magical and enchanting not to mention rare even for winter. Imagine my surprize to wake up in a world like this. I was totally astounded. I rushed for my camera and I couldn't stop until the fog cleared several hours later! My usual reality seemed disguised, transformed into another more mysterious and enticing...



Cheap & Chic! {perfume bar}

As the holiday season approaches we all want to spend for family and friends. It's the festive spirit that lifts up in the air and the feeling of sharing and joy! Before we know it though, we exceed our budget and sometimes can't afford gifts for all the people in our list. My rule, to avoid that, is to act early on and spot those places where I can enjoy a spending spree and still have money in my pockets. A good example is my purchase above. I first went on a smell quest and tried several different fragrances. I decided on Bulgari for its underlined elegance and fruity flavors and made sure to find the best offer available. My purchase of the specific fragrance included two more treats, a body lotion and a beautiful pouch but also came with a good 25% discount. So content after all and I didn't break the bank!



Keep your mouth full! {hazelnut chocolate spread & banana sandwitch }

I don't like sweet. A fact. Sometimes though, I crave chocolate really hard. Usually what I have around is hazelnut chocolate spread. A childhood memory I can't depart with... Now that I'm all grown-up I embellish that flavor. An open sandwitch with my favorite spread, topped with banana! Delicious and simple!



Cheap & Chic! {Interview with Elsa from "Elsa Handmade Inspirations"}

Today, instead of the usual “Cheap & Chic” column I have the honor to present you a very talented lady. Her name is Elsa and she creates beautiful handbags from scratch! Needless to say they are both chic & cheap. Elsa is a genuine personality with flowering creativity and I’m certain that you‘ll find her designs inspiring the way I did! Elsa and I had a little chat the other day about her work, the styles she prefers and her design ethos. Let’s find out what she said, shall we?

Sophia: Elsa, how did you come to design handbags?
Elsa: I have a vast background in fashion originally. I’ve spent several years designing clothes for my own little firm which was very daunting but at the same time taught me valuable lessons on how a business is run.

Sophia: And you make mostly handbags?
Elsa: Yes! It’s a fashion item I like the most as it’s quite versatile and not as heavy on somebody’s shoulders as creating a clothes’ line, but equally rewarding nonetheless! Plus I believe in the power of accessorizing and handbag is definitely a key piece for everyone!

Sophia: Your designs are all lovely and well made. You make everything by hand?
Elsa: Yes, I have total control over production and since I make only a small batch at a time I can still manage all stages of production including sketching, cutting, sewing and assembling.

Sophia: What are the materials you prefer to use?
Elsa: To tell you the truth inspiration is what defines my use of materials. When I envision a new bag then I see what kind of materials I would like this very bag to be made of!

Sophia: So, where do you find inspiration?
Elsa: Everywhere! It sounds like a cliché but it’s true. I have a vast collection of things that boosts my creativity. I simply like to accumulate stuff. Materials are very important to me. I have tons of leathers, fabrics, buttons, ribbons you name it! Also being in the fashion department I’m always aware of new trends and depending on the season I’m influenced by them. For instance, this season velvet and fur are big so I’ll find ways to incorporate them into my collection.

Sophia: Is there a type of bag you prefer to make over and over again?
Elsa: Surely I make everything from casual to formal, but my all-time favorite is the evening purse.

Sophia: Can you define your style?
Elsa: My mood swings and my style too! Though, I gravitate towards modern but tailored with a touch of vintage and sometimes eclectism.  

Sophia: Name your favorite celebrity designer?
Elsa: The one and only Gaultier.

Sophia: Where we can find you and your bags?
Elsa: At the moment through my blog, and email which is esklavou@gmail.com.

Elsa, it was a pleasure to talk with you and share your creativitiy here. Thank you very much! 

(all images show Elsa's new collection for A/w 11)


Keep your mouth full! {aragula, tomato and feta cheece open sandwitches}

It's been sometime since I wrote here because, you know, life works in mysterious ways. Today though, I'm glad because I'm back on board, on this little and secluded creative place of mine! So, whoever you are I would like you to stick around. You see today, I'm gonna share one of my secret and all-time favorite recipes. It's one of those easy peasy recipes eveyone can make and it's feels so good when in no time you can actually sit down and enjoy a meal that is delicious, healthy and comforting at the same time! Trust me, if you haven't taste it then when you do, your mouth will be full of the most savoury and wholesome ingredients. 
Plain and simple food can be so rich and mouthwatering! The secret here lies on the things we're using; fresh baby aragula and tomatoes. A first quality of feta cheese. Handmade rustic bread that we then toast for a few minutes and extra virgin olive oil to springle on top. To take this a step further, you can be a connaiseur and choose the right type of feta cheese. 
Actually a slightly hard and peppery kind will act its best when combined with the sweetness of the rustic bread. The bread must be handmade from a bakery you trust and know. Any other mass produced bread will spoil the flavours. I can go and on and on about the importance of quality here, but I think you get the picture. This recipe requires only the finest of ingredients since its execution has barely any additives or cooking to enhance the taste. Assemble everything together, add freshly ground pepper and cherish your life; food is blessing!



Cheap & Chic! {red coat}

It's feels like cheating, since I'm posting this today and not yesterday but I guess it's better to go on and do it rather than postponing it because I get distracted by daily happenings. Life happens and if plans are put on hold one day there's always the next to mend this! So, why I'm posting this red coat today? First of all, it's one of my all-time favorite garments. I have it for four years allready and it's like brand new. It's such a happy coat in the most wonderful red color ever! It's pure wool of excellent quality and I got it on super sale since the Donna Karan tag on full price was quite intimidating. Still, you say it must cost more than a regular coat. That's absolutely true, but compared to the quality and the long wear it's still a very good deal! I believe it has every right to be considered as an item that falls right under the cheap and chic category. You see, sometimes we need to invest on certain pieces even if it feels like breaking the rule by paying more than usual. The reward from the top quality of both, material and craftmanship is unconditional and the many years you're going to enjoy your choice, break down the price to mere pennies(on a daily count). I followed my heart and got me this amazing coat and I haven't regret it since, not a single day!  



A manhattan pied-a-terre

Sometimes I see a space and I really get excited! This happened with the pied-a-terre featured in Veranda Magazine. Then, I try to figure out what in particular I find inspiring about those interiors and why... Probably I wouldn't incorporate all the above elements in my abode but the color combinations that I see here are very interesting and certainly well thought. Black and white is a favorite of mine but I believe that when someone adds injections of other colors like greys or browns it takes it to another level of visual impact. It also warms up the formality of the duo. Obviously this interior is also quite traditional and those gold accents prove it greatly but when grey and brown enter the scheme it's their softness that occupies me the most. Plus, the focal dynamics of those vertical black lines on the main storage space are so strong and symmetric that open up this pied-a-terre to great lengths. Even if my place is not that small I believe that inspiration from compact spaces is more valuable since it's those spaces that push aesthetics and design to new boundaries in an effort to incorparate more elements with less actual space!



Find & Refined { warm up }

Yes! It's Saturday and not Friday (the weekend is here, I checked) but I was feeling realy itchy to post this since it was in my head on time but due to other reality commitments I was unable to put it together yesterday... The weather is getting colder fast and what better excuse to stay inside and cuddle while enjoying the change of scenery! Ideally, there's a bunch of stuff out there that will make this transition smooth and here we showcase a few but with extra style and character!
obj#1: chair / obj#2: scarf / obj#3: rug / obj#4: warmers / obj#5: plate / obj#6: knitwear


Cheap & Chic! {feminine blouse}

Another alternative to the feminine blouse, which sometimes feels boring and bland, is one that has the animal print all over. We've seen before the power that an item with this type of print holds and again we need to be conservative when it comes to the rest of our outfit. Usually a black skirt or trousers is enough to turn the ensemble in an utrla chic combination suitable for day or night. I have a beautiful pair of woolen trousers (at least four years old) and when I wear them together it feels like they are new but mostly I see how easy it is to be elegant! This blouse above is also semi transparent which makes it a tad sexy but safe for any occasion. Instant chic for less than 50$, well I'll take it!



Keep your mouth full! { spaghetti and baby shrimps}

Let's start the week with another great recipe! This is one is extra easy-breezy and it combines two of my favorite ingredients seafood and pasta. I use spaghetti No. 6 which I cook according to cooking instuctions and then rinse under running cold water. I always do that because it halts the cooking process right there on the spot, plus it removes most of the surface starch which I personally don't like to taste at all! Now, to the sauce, which is what gives life to the dish. In a heated pan slightly covered with olive oil I add a clove of garlic and wait until it turns a bit brown, then I remove the garlic and add a yellow pepper sliced into squares. When the pepper is softened I add a few cherry tomatoes crushed and a few minutes later my baby shrimps. The shrimps are already bathed in fresh water which has a few lemon wedges. The shrimps cook very fast (about ten minutes max) and I want my tomatoes to be slightly cooked in order to keep their freshness. In that time, a thin layer of tomato sauce is built which is enough for the rest of the ingredients. I add fresh ground pepper and sea salt along with oregano and a handful of chopped parsley and give it a last stir. I remove the pan from heat and toss the pasta in. A lot of grated cheese on top and I can hardly resist for another minute!



Guest Post: Tiny decorative details

Hi, I'm Susi, a writer for Design Shuffle, an online community of interior designers, design professionals and design lovers from around the world. I'm so happy to be visiting Finely Inc. today to guest blog about one of my favorite topics: decorative details in interior design.  The saying “the devil is in the details” definitely applies to a well styled room. The details, even tiny ones, are what make a room beautiful, chic and stylish.  I've pulled together some of my favorite tiny decorative details to share with you and your readers.  Enjoy!
Table Accents

Like jewelry and accessories in fashion, tiny decorative details can make a room, a vignette or even a piece of furniture.  Beautiful bowls and trays make lovely table accessories and places to hold beautiful baubles.
Grosgrain Ribbon Design

Love the grosgrain ribbon and nailheads that trim the door frames in this mudroom. Such a chic (and simple) detail that adds tons of style.
Bathroom Decor Design

Accents are great bathroom design ideas. A silver tray in the bathroom to organize perfume bottles and other objects is a lovely design detail—one of those versatile and easy decorating ideas. The silver adds shine and an extra bit of elegance.
Nailhead Trim Detail

Nailhead trim is a classic decorative detail that is small but creates a big impact. It can be applied to all kinds of furniture and even walls.
Brass Knob Accent

You can greatly enhance your bedroom design with some small details. Pulls and knobs can completely change the look of a piece of furniture. These tiny decorative details can make the difference between fine and sublime. Love the shiny brass against the navy on this chest.
Door Knob Accent

We use them every day but how often do we really pay attention to door handles? Swapping out standard knobs for antique or vintage knobs can turn a tiny detail into a design statement.
Footstool Design

Even the smallest piece of furniture in the room can make a big statement in a bedroom design.  Adding an interesting patterned fabric to this footstool makes it stand out in the room. Small is beautiful.
Furniture Trim Detail

Trim is the tiny detail that can transform a piece of upholstered furniture. Piping on cushions, trim and ribbon are beautiful details for furniture. [ Images 1/ 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 ]

Details make all the difference! If you'd like to see more details for any room in your home, head on over to Design Shuffle where you'll find inspiration from many talented designers including Los Angeles interior designers and New York interior designers.


Guest Post for tomorrow!

Ok! I'm really excited! Stay all tuned because tomorrow I have the honor to present you a great guest post in Finely Inc! Susi from Design Shuffle is gonna be here with us to talk about details, details and some more details when it comes to stylish interiors! Yay!

Keep your mouth full! {rigatoni with anchovies}

I can't say that I like to compromise when it comes to taste. I love food so much and if my meal is bland usually it ruins my day. That said, I have to admit that I can be lazy too so I need to prepare meals quickly and easily. I enjoy pasta quite a lot and I try to bring a new flavor almost each time I make it. For the above dish I used rigatoni. I always drain my pasta under cool water and then I use a bit of warm olive oil to coat them for extra flavor. Yummy! For the sauce I used 2-3 fillets of anchovies and a tablespoon of capers along with a clove of garlic, finely sliced, in a warm skillet. I made sure the skillet was coated with olive oil (again!), just a few drops is enough. When half way cooked, I added a few cherry tomatoes and when those were ready I removed the skillet from the heat. I combined the pasta with the sause, springled fresh parsley over it and served in a large plate with lots of cheece and black pepper! Food for the soul! 


Find & Refined { animal planet }

Today, on Find & Refind we showcase the fauna kingdom and its take on design and everyday items. The theme is not new. In human history, animals played an important role which consisted more than merely a source of  nutrition. The contemporary items based on animal figurine are playful and sometimes ironic. There's certainly a plethora out there but what you see above are some of my favorites!
obj#1 / obj#2 / obj#3 / obj#4 / obj#5 / obj#6


Cheap & Chic! {ruffled grey dress}

When I run errands I want to look well dressed but I need to feel comfortable. Actually, every time I chose pretty instead of practical I ended up doing less than half of what I anticipated and not looking that pretty anymore. So, I decided to wear clothes that give me that much needed sense of fancy while retaining all the casual feeling. Enter the above dress. It cost me less than 15$ at Zara's super sales and it serves its purpose perfectly. Its plain grey cotton fabric makes it so easy to wear but the ruffles and belt give a tone of grace! I love it with black leggings underneath for extra comfort. It feels right, airy and allover beautiful!



Keep your mouth full! {broccoli & turkey salad}

This salad recipe is so easy and quick to be considered as an excellent choice when things are in a hurry. The great thing about it though is its taste! Velvety as can be because of the broccoli but rich in taste when you grab a bite of the turkey schnitzel. I get mine from a local meat market to make sure I get the best quality. So, back to our recipe; you only need to steam your broccoli florets until they're soft but not muchy and fry your ready made schnitzels for three to four minutes each side in very hot oil. Since we are using turkey, there are no worries about extra calories. To spice up the dish, I use a homemade dressing that I prepare in seconds by whisking together 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons mustard, 1 teaspoon honey and 2 tablespoons of wine vinegar. I pour the dressing over my salad and I serve immediately. Bon appetit!



Cheap & Chic! {animal print}

In the spirit of yesterday's post I continue with the black and white theme...Today, through "Cheap & Chic" series I want to showcase everyone's fave of the season, the animal print. A trend which many also consider too risky to pull it off. Make no mistake, animal print can lead you easily in the land of cheap and tacky. The secret is to accessorize with it rather than go for the full costume. An all black outfit paired with flats like the ones above gets nice attention and shows graceful style. I got mine at Zara's and since they were on super sale they cost me next to nothing.



The amazing world of photographer Charlotte Moulard!

I'm always excited to find out about new and talented photographers like the uber cool french lady Charlotte Moulard. She has already contributed to the ever beautiful Stella Magazine. Those images above depict chic and elegance in a delicate and enchanting manner. La femme fatale in a new version.



Keep your mouth full! {green beans & eggs}

For me this is comfort food. I enjoy the richeness of the egg and the freshness of the green beans. Sometimes, if eggs feel like a lot and I know for sure that I'm not going anywhere else later on, I will have a crushed garlic clove and chunks of bread to dip in the flavored oil of the beans. Always though, I 'll add lots of black pepper. To make this plate you'll need fresh green beans from the farmers market. A good quantity is one kilo of greens. Wash them thoroughly and cut off both ends. Half cup of olive oil (extra virgin) or more is needed. When the oil has warmed up, you add one red onion, finelly chopped. About three minutes later you add two crushed cloves of garlic and your green beans. You give them two good turns in the pot so they are covered with oil thoroughly and you add canned tomatoes, preferably the ones which are already in chunks because when cooked they don't disappear but rather give an extra dimension to the plate. You will need 3/4 of the can. You will also need some water to help your greens cook more evenly. A good rule is to make sure that while cooking you have enough liquids to simmer properly. Salt and pepper to taste. When the boiling starts, lower the temperature and let it simmer. The food is ready in 20 minutes more or less. Not a long time for such a satisfying meal. Fry the eggs and you're good to go!



Find & Refined {neon}

For all the fluo lovers. Dedicated.
1.stool / 2.pot / 3.lamp / 4.case / 5.vase


Cheap & Chic! {earings}

Ethnic trend is always big. On clothes, accessories, furnishings, rugs, everything! What is small here is the price! These adorable earings cost me about a dollar and thirty cents at H&M. Yes, Hello! The pair!



The amazing world of photographer Lukasz Wierzbowski

His name I can't tell without breaking my tongue, but what I can tell is that his work is simply amazing. His imaginery is magical and dreamy, the sort I like. You can find him here and here.